Ford RangerFord Motor Co. recalled 26,715 Ranger pickup trucks built this year at the Twin Cities Assembly Plant because the tail lights might not turn on, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The problem involves a plastic slider on a multifunction switch that can warp, making it impossible for the switch to turn on the truck's turn signals, tail lights, hazard warning flashers or brake lights, which could increase the risk of a crash, the NHTSA said.

In a letter to the NHTSA, Ford said it was unaware of any accidents or injuries as of July 5 that were connected to the recalled part.The recall includes all model year 2011 Ranger trucks built from January 25 through April 25 at the St. Paul, Minn., plant; the recall also includes service parts sent to dealerships for certain model years of Ranger, F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 trucks.

Model years for the truck service parts included in the recall are:

  • Ranger trucks, model years 2004 through 2011
  • Excursions, model years 2002 through 2005
  • F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 trucks, model years 2002 through 2007

Dealerships will replace the switches for free. The safety recall is expected to start about August 15. Consumers can call Ford at (866) 436-7332 for more information. Owners also may call the NHTSA at (888) 327-4236.

The Ford Ranger is slated to be discontinued at the end of the year after 29 years as a staple in the automaker's lineup. One reason given for the end of production is that consumers have stepped up to the F-150 full-sized truck since Ford improved its gas mileage. In May, the NHTSA opened an investigation into complaints that metal fuel tank straps on the F-150 can rust and break.

Earlier this week, Ford also announced a smaller recall of certain 2007 Ford 500 and Mercury Montego cars -- 2,945 cars to be exact -- because of inconsistent fuel tank welds. Consumers with those cars can also call Ford at the above number regarding a new tank.

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